While Canadian summers are known to be short, Canadians like Jordan Eberle try to make the most of the time we are given. After the Oilers missed the post season, again, Eberle was selected to play in the Worlds for Canada. But even there Eberle saw an early exit. Now according to Greg Harder of the Regina Leader Post Eberle has a busy summer ahead of him raising money through golf in him home town of Regina.
Eberle enjoyed home-course advantage Thursday when he took part in the sixth annual Shooting Stars Foundation golf gala at the Royal Regina Golf Club. Eberle has a vested interest in the event after joining forces last year with Shooting Stars, a local charitable organization founded by former NHLers Jamie Heward and Mike Sillinger. The trio invited a handful of other NHL players and local celebrities to take part in the two-day event, concluding today with the Sticks on Rose street hockey tournament.
It’s a busy time for Eberle, who is also slated to be back in Regina on July 11-12 for the first-ever Eberle and Friends Golf Classic, in support of the Hospitals of Regina Foundation.
“Being a Regina boy, it’s nice to give back,” said Eberle, who now resides in Calgary. “I still have lots of family here and I try to get back as much as I can. Hewie and Silly are guys I looked up to growing up. They followed the same path as me as far as playing for the (WHL’s Regina) Pats and then moving on to the NHL. To actually be a part of (Shooting Stars) is kind of a no-brainer.”
Wearing the familiar Canadian flag golf shirt, Mikhail Grigorenko addressed the Edmonton Media Thursday afternoon. When Grigorenko wore this shirt, or another copy of this shirt, at the NHL combine it sparked comments about Grigorenko’s ambitions to stay in Canada. The argument being that after the negative Russian player attention in Nashville, that it might reflect poorly on the young players who will be drafted this June. And so. that very question inevitably came up in Edmonton, Like Nail Yakupov it would seem that Grigorenko also has a great sense of humour saying that of course he would like to stay in Canada, have you seen this shirt? “I came here to play NHL so, you know.. And I have a Canada polo now. I really like Canada, this country and not just for hockey. Hockey is amazing here, I really like to be here and it’s amazing in Canada.”
The Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms with GM Steve Tambellini, but they are not saying for how much longer. At least not yet. In a Wednesday morning press release the team merely says:
President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe announced today the Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms on a new contract for General Manager Steve Tambellini.
Kevin Lowe says, “Three years ago we asked Steve to begin a rebuild which we all know hasn’t been easy. However, Oilers fans can take some consolation in the fact that Steve and his staff have acquired some amazing talent which will most definitely be the cornerstone to future sustained success for the Edmonton Oilers.”
He can play left wing, right wing and even goal if that’s what you need from him joked Nail Yakupov in his first media availability in Edmonton on Monday afternoon. In fact there were a lot of jokes from the feisty winger who has otherwise been known for his odd World Juniors post game scrums. In the short amount of time that he was in Calgary for the World Juniors, I could never get within arms reach through all of the other media and I certainly couldn’t get much of a sense from Yakupov. Except for the fact that he is an extremely confident young man who is passionate about playing hockey and especially for his home country of Russia that is. But after hearing Yakupov speak in a more relaxed setting I get the sense that this is exactly the kind of attitude the Oilers need to add to their dressing room.
Nail Yakupov has landed in Edmonton and the Oilers were a the airport to greet the top prospect. As with previous first overall picks Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov will get another chance to sit down and talk to Oilers brass as well as have dinner at the home of the owner, Daryl Katz. Unlike visits with Hall and Nugent-Hopkins, Yakupov will not have a lengthy discussion with the Oilers’ head coach. With Yakupov’s main concern being to prove that he is first overall material I wouldn’t expect the lack of a head coach in place to be much of a distraction for the young Russian winger.
As reported by NHL.com writer Mike Morreale top ranked prospect Nail Yakupov has been living up to the hype, and maybe then some.
Edmonton Oilers head amateur scout, Stu MacGregor, whose team holds the No. 1 choice at the draft for the third straight year, said he was impressed with Yakupov’s workout.
“He extended himself and put himself out there and gave everything he had,” MacGregor told NHL.com. “I think that Nail wants to be No. 1 and he wants to prove he’s No. 1, so he knows what’s at stake and he’s pushing himself to be the best he can be.”
In addition to the bike tests, Yakupov was put through tests that included the standing long jump, vertical jump, curl-ups, grip strength, bench press, push-ups, and push/pull strength. He bench-pressed 150 pounds nine times, and totaled 29 pushups, four more than the average number last year.
He also lasted 12:25 on the VO2 Max test, which measures the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to transport and use oxygen during incremental exercise. During his 30-second spin on the Wingate Cycle Ergometer, Yakupov maintained top speed to the very end, grunting his way through the final five seconds of the exercise.
Friday marks the deadline for teams to sign their 2010 draft prospects, as well as earlier draft picks who were in school up until the end of the last semester. What this means is that teams need to have come to their final decisions on who they see in their system going forward. For the Oilers with the signing of Kristians Pelss in April, it was an early sign that they are going to pass on left winger Drew Czerwonka, but there was very little indication of their plans concerning defenceman Jeremie Blain. Now, Jason Gregor of the Team 1260 is reporting that the all indications and conversations behind the scenes indicate that the Oilers are not looking to sign either player.
No, you have not stepped back in time, but it has been reported that the Oilers and Ryan Smyth aren’t much closer to a deal new deal than they were last summer. According to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal:
The holdout here is not term. It is the money. Nobody is saying what the Oilers are offering, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in the $2.5 million-$2.75 million range. Smyth could be looking for more than $3 million a year.
Smyth, who made $4.5 million in salary last year, has chosen not to talk about about his current negotiations. But, he likely doesn’t want to take a huge haircut in salary. So, we have a stalemate.
With the elimination of the Oklahoma City Barons from the AHL western conference finals, that draws to a close the 2011-12 season for all Oiler players. And despite the sour note that all teams finished the year on, you have to think of just how important, just how good it was for the Oilers’ prospects to experience winning and a lengthy post season. No, not because the Oilers will are guaranteed a similar experience next season, but because this is what is needed to help remove that losing mentality from the locker room.
It was great while it lasted but for the Edmonton Oil Kings, their post season is over. The Oil Kings had their most successful season of modern franchise history winning their division, conference and eventually the WHL before competing for the 2012 Memorial Cup in Shawinigan Quebec but the the Oil Kings would be the first team to be eliminated from the four team tournament.
About Oil Patch
Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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